Best Concert Venues

Best Music Venues in Pittsburgh, PA

We already gave you the scoop on the live music scene in Pittsburgh in our “Steel City Vibes” article last week, now let’s take a look at the best places to catch a show. I caught up with former Anti-Flag employee and current promotions manager for Stage AE, Jeff Railsback, to find out the best concert venues The Steel City has to offer.

“There are literally tons of concert venues around this town,” Railsback explains. “Pittsburgh is great in that respect. You can find live music of just about any genre, on any audience-size scale, anywhere, any night of the week.” Here are some of the best venues for your listening pleasure:

Stage AE

This is where Jeff works. An indoor/outdoor concert venue in the North Side of Pittsburgh, Stage AE seats anywhere from 400-5500. They bring in some serious talent here, but they aren’t too big that they scare away the smaller and mid-level bands, or sacrifice audience engagement, making this a clear choice for our best concert venues. Stage AE offers solid acoustics, VIP and general admission seating, an awesome outdoor viewing area overlooking downtown, and a good selection of drafts at both the indoor and outdoor bars.

Upcoming Shows:

  1. Queens of the Stone Age, Sat. 9/14
  2. Sigur Ros, Thu. 9/19
  3. Bassnectar, Mon. 8/07

Mr. Smalls Theatre

Mr. Smalls Theatre. Photo Credit: Jessica DeLuca

A standing room only venue that’s part of a larger facility, which includes a skate park, two recording studios, and artist housing. Mr. Smalls Theatre opened in Pittsburgh ten years ago in a converted church five minutes from downtown. They offer a separate over 21 section for brews, and sectioned-off balcony seating. Get dinner from the grill-master during the show, or check out the patio area for a smoke between bands.

Upcoming Shows:

  1. The Gaslight Anthem, Thu. 9/12 / Fri. 9/13
  2. Daughter, Wed. 10/02
  3. Citizen Cope, Sat. 10/12

 The Smiling Moose

The Smiling Moose is a restaurant/bar/music venue in Pittsburgh’s South Side. They pull in live bands and talent from all over. When they aren’t showing live music, they hold trivia and open mic nights. There’s a massive big screen on the ground floor that’s perfect for watching Penguins hockey. They have a good selection of beer on tap at all times, and specialize in featuring up-and-coming artists.

Upcoming Shows:

  1. Delusions of Grandeur, Fri. 8/30
  2. Radical Something, Fri. 9/20
  3. Single Mothers, Wed. 11/20

Other notable Pittsburgh concert venues include: Brillobox, Lava Lounge, and 222 Ormsby.

Article by Kevin Lankes

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